There are many factors that impact on the price you achieve when you sell your home. Some factors such as interest rates, market trends, are beyond your control. One thing you can control is how your home is presented to the market.
Some sellers spend thousands of dollars on improvements such as swimming pools and sheds while ignoring the rest of the property. Rather than making additions to the property you may be better just sprucing up what you already have.
Preparation pays off – so prior to listing your property for sale, make the effort to give the grounds and interior a good overhaul.
First Impressions Count
What a prospective buyer sees when they first arrive at your property is critical. Their first impression must be positive. Make sure the front lawns are mowed, hedges trimmed, gardens tidied and the pathways and lawns uncluttered.
The approach to the front entrance needs to be clear of obstructions. Place potted plants or shrubs near the entrance, get rid of the shabby door mat and replace it with a new colourful one.
Most prospective buyers can see past your interior colour scheme. If you are going to repaint the interior of your home prior to selling, do it with neutral colours such as white or beige. If you have areas of tatty paint and wallpaper then repaint those areas or replace the wallpaper. Give interior painted walls a good clean.
Make sure that there are no broken windows, broken insect screens, leaking taps, faulty lights, etc. when cleaning don’t forget to dust the blades on the ceiling fans and the inside of light fittings.
The critical areas are toilets, bathrooms and kitchens. Make sure they are spotless. The result is well worth the effort.
If your house is overly cluttered, get rid of excess furniture so that when inspections or open homes are done the viewer will see lots of space.
Flowers placed in various parts of the home are always worth the effort. Soft music playing can also be a positive.
If there are items that you are taking with you when you sell, such as a chandelier from the main hallway, it is not a bad idea to replace them before the sale process begins. Sales can be lost when disputes arise over inclusions.
Make sure the backyard is tidied to the same level as the front of the house. Fix any broken fences, remove dead tree branches, etc. people want their yard to feel secure, especially if they have young children. Get rid of any dangerous objects.
If you have a swimming pool make sure that everything is working and that the pool itself is clean. It is critical that the fences and gates are intact and function properly and comply the standards set by your local council. The patio should be as uncluttered as possible. Make sure you have cleaned the barbeque.
When your agent brings prospective buyers to inspect your home, it is better if you “make yourself scarce” during the inspection. If you are at home, once the introductions have been made, go and busy yourself away from the inspecting party. Experience has shown that if you tag along, you will inhibit the buyers and make them feel uncomfortable. There is also a tendency to bombard the prospective buyers with too much information, which can put them off the property.
Buyers understand that the home must be lived in, and apologies can draw unfavourable attention to what may be minor faults.
If you have pets, especially dogs, try and remove them from the property before any inspection. You may love your dog with a passion, but a lot of others may not. If you do have a dog, remember to clean up what they leave behind – before any inspection.